Core Activities

The following are the core services of the IRCG:

  1. Lifesaving Services
    1. Provide an offshore, coastal, inland and mountain search and rescue service;
    2. Provide an air ambulance, emergency and humanitarian response service to the off-shore islands;
    3. Maintain operational readiness of CG volunteer Units by Manage, train, equip and provide for the health and safety of a National Coast Guard volunteer service on the coast and inland waterways of Ireland.  Volunteers are trained in a range of core competencies including boat SAR skills, cliff rescue, legislative compliance patrolling, shoreline search and shoreline search management, on request support to statutory emergency services and communication support to RCCs during interruption in communication services.
    4. Provide search services over land in aid to An Garda Síochána;
    5. Assist other primary emergency agencies and services during major emergencies or as requested such as Local Authorities, An Garda Síochána or the HSE;
    6. Provide helicopter search and rescue services in Northern Ireland and the UK Search and Rescue Region when requested.
  1. Aeromedical services:
    1. Air Transport of patients from offshore islands to mainland hospitals;
    2. Recovery of patients from remote access locations; where recovery by vehicle is not reasonable.
    3. Recovery of patients deemed ‘Life or Death scenario where the patient is not in a place of safety;
    4. Transportation of MART teams to Offshore or Inland Waterways Emergencies.
    5. Transportation of Medical / Ambulance personnel, including NAS Incident Response Teams to Major Emergencies or incidents, where the specialist skills of the IRT personnel are required; and 
    6. Air Transport of Neonates requiring immediate medical intervention in Ireland;
    7. Inter-Hospital Transfer of patients with serious injury and illness between hospitals; and 
    8. Air Transport of patients requiring emergency organ transplant in the UK
    9. Emergency Air medical Service (EAS) by arrangement with HSE.
  1. Services to Shipping
    1. Provide a coastal vessel traffic management and information system;
    2. Act as the National independent decision making authority in places of refuge incidents including the authority to overrule other statutory authorities;
    3. Provides Virtual Aids to Navigation Service for Irish Lights.
    4. Provide a response to marine casualty incidents and to monitor or intervene in marine pollution or salvage operations including the authority to overrule other statutory authorities;
    5. Provide the National Maritime Assistance Service (MAS) to provide a single point of contact (SPOC) between vessels and coastal states;
    6. Provide the National SPOC in maritime shipping and port security incidents;
    7. Develop and co-ordinate an effective regime in relation to marine pollution including Plan Approval for harbours, oil and gas rigs, wind farms, oil reception facilities and local authorities;
  1. Services to Aviation
    1. Provide a search and rescue and salvage and recovery service for downed aircraft or flight recorder recovery on behalf of the Irish Aviation Authority and Air Accident Investigation Unit;
  1. Communications and Safety Services
    1. Provide the National maritime safety telecommunications and responder alerting and notification service;
    2. Provide the National Automatic Identification System (ship tracking)
    3. Act as SafeSeaNet 24/7 Coordinator for the European Maritime Safety Authority
    4. Act as the National co-ordinator for Radio Navigational Warnings;
    5. Act as the National co-ordinator for Maritime Safety Security and Information Services; and
    6. Provide a safety awareness and public information service in relation to the discharge of the functions set out above.
  1. Miscellaneous Services
    1. Provide a sea sampling service to the Marine Institute:
    2. Provide traffic data analysis for research institutes, safety of navigation and offshore platform and wind energy assessments.